Alright, so I haven’t posted in over a week and I feel kind of bad about it. It’s been due to a lot of different things, but mostly I became addicted to Rockstar’s newest game, Red Dead Redemption, which I’ve been unable to put down since it came out last Tuesday.
Now, I wouldn’t post it if it didn’t have some relevance to what I planned to post.
Red Dead Redemption has a great soundtrack, full of the standard types of sounds you’d expect from a Western movie. The Ennio-Morricone-inspired theme is my favorite of the original score pieces but the licensed songs are true highlights of the soundtrack. It includes an original from Jose Gonzalez, as well as an excellent song from Ashtar Command and an acapella from William Elliot Whitemore.
Each of these songs are perfectly integrated into the context of the game better than any game I’ve previously played and the best example of this was the use of Jamie Lidell’s “Compass” a song that was just released earlier this year. I’m not sure how Rockstar got there hands on it early enough to put it in the game, but it’s impressive. The “Red Dead” version is much more stripped down and edited than the original album version and it makes sense in the context of the game. It’s a simple, elegant love song, the kind Jamie Lidell’s got down pat. Check it out:
Jamie Lidell – Compass (Red Dead on Arrival Version) [download]
The next song is an original (from what I can tell) from José Gonzalez which must mean that Rockstar had a pretty large music budget. It plays when the protagonist first gets into Mexico, though I missed it when I first reached that point. Too bad, as it’s a beautiful song. José Gonzalez has an extremely distinct voice and sound that reeks of beauty and anyone who’s a fan of his should definitely check out “Far Away.”
José Gonzalez – Far Away [download]
The last song came from a band I’ve never heard of, Ashtar Command and was the surprise of the group. I saved the best for last, and I should hope that “Deadman’s Gun” doesn’t disappoint. More lyrically strong than the other two songs it fits where it goes in the game and is all too fitting of the Western genre as a whole. Careful if you miss it, as its very easy to do. Luckily it’s here too.
Ashtar Command – Deadman’s Gun [download]
[Note: While I’ve posted the songs from the soundtrack that are vocal tracks (save one), the score is one of my favorites from a video game and worth grabbing. It was recently added to iTunes and is easily one of my favorite releases this year, so you should definitely go buy it.]